Borderfree Food Bank Afghanistan

August 9, 2016

Afghan Street Kid Habib says, “Food comes from the land.”

 

Mission

To collect and provide donated food items for impoverished Afghan families.

As a start, Borderfree Food Bank Afghanistan aims to provide monthly food gifts of rice and oil to 100 street kids at the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School.

How to support the Food Bank

For Afghans in Afghanistan who wish to support the Food Bank in some way or another, they can reach the Food Bank easily through email journeytosmile@gmail.com or through Afghan mobile number +93748123139

From the 21st of September 2016, the Afghan Peace Volunteers will reach out to Afghans living or studying outside Afghanistan, with the hope of ‘Afghans helping Afghans’. The Afghan Peace Volunteers hope to launch this effort on the 21st of September 2016, the International Day of Peace.

Details on the process for donations from Afghans outside Afghanistan will be printed here after the 21st of September.

Each street kid needs US$430 to provide his/her family with monthly food gifts of rice and oil ( more than 92% of US$430 ) for one full year, as well as to provide school material and winter clothing ( another 8%).

Brief stories on some of the 100 street kids will be posted on this page soon, starting with Habib’s.

‘Afghans helping Afghans’ through the Food Bank

From 2015 till today, support for the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School has been coming through international peace activists with Voices for Creative Nonviolence in the U.S. and UK, as well as Child Right Netherlands.

In March of 2016, the Afghan Peace Volunteers felt a need to encourage ‘Afghans to help Afghans’, and so they began the initial work of the Food Bank by approaching Afghan shopkeepers and business people in Kabul. Progress has been slow for multiple reasons: a war is ongoing with deteriorating security and increasing civilian casualties, distrust is entrenched in Afghan society after years of war and international, government and societal corruption.

Despite these challenges, the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Food Bank team has managed to secure help from one local Afghan businessman and an Afghan psychologist and civil society activist.

 Background on the 100 street kids at the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School

The aim of the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School is to share literacy skills in Dari, Math and nonviolence, so that the street kids and vulnerable kids can acquire a love for school and learning, understand nature, humanity, values and life, and become students and practitioners of nonviolence.

In January 2015, 80 street kids participated in a protest walk in Kabul, Afghanistan, in which they requested for a school to be established specially for 100 street kids. A government official commented on a radio program after the protest walk that the government did not have additional resources to build such a school. So, the Afghan Peace Volunteers themselves established a school at the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre.

In March 2016, 100 street kids and vulnerable kids from the Afghan ethnic groups of Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks were enrolled.

The 100 street kids come to the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School every Friday. They attend classes in Dari and Math literacy, nonviolence and tailoring. All the teachers of the School are volunteers.

For the rest of the week, the street kids are encouraged to go to government schools. Government schools provide a half day of formal education. Many of the kids work in the streets all day because their families need them to earn money to help put bread, rice, and other basic food on the table.  Working all day deprives the children of the chance to go to the government schools. By providing monthly gifts of rice and oil to their families, the Afghan Peace Volunteers share resources for the street kids’ basic human needs, making it easier for the kids to work for only half a day and attend government schools for the other half of the day.

More on the Street Kids can be read here: http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/borderfree-afghan-street-kids-school/

Below are links to stories of some of the Afghan Street Kids who receive the monthly food gifts from the Food Bank

Stories of Street Kids and the Food Bank

Afghan Street Kid Habib says, “Food comes from the land.”

Watch Habib’s videos Afghan street kid, my Friend, Habibee! and Afghan Street Kid Habib says, “Food comes from the land.”  and read his recent story at http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/2016/08/afghan-street-kid-habib-says-food-comes-from-the-land/

 02 Habib with his weighing scale

 Habib used to work in the streets, taking the weight of pedestrians for a fee.

Now, his two younger brothers do this work, while he is selling phone cards for a telephone company

01 Habib with Ghulam and his monthly food gifts

Habib ( left ) having a conversation with the Food Bank Coordinator, Ghulam Hussein,

while sitting on a wheelbarrow of his monthly food gifts

 

I asked 15 year old Habib what he thought

basic human needs were,

and he replied without hesitation,

“First water, then food!”

Afghan Street Eye : 10 year old Adilah sells ‘bolonis’

Please watch the video Afghan Street Eye : 10 year old Adilah sells ‘bolonis’ and read Adilah’s story at http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/2015/06/why-do-afghan-children-have-to-polish-boots-and-sell-bolonis/

03 Adilah sells pancakes

Adilah sells pancakes which her aunt makes

04 Adilah plays with other strret kids

Adilah ( second from right ) enjoying an outdoor game at the Borderfree Street Kids School

05 Adilah learns tailoring

Adilah learns tailoring skills at the School

Mahdi, for a moment, I didn’t know what to wish for you

Please watch Mahdi’s video Afghan street kid, ‘I don’t enjoy polishing boots’ and read Mahdi’s recent story at http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/2016/08/afghan-friends-for-a-moment-i-didnt-know-what-to-wish-for-you/

06 Mahdi's work English

Mahdi polishes boots

07 Food Bank and Mahdi

Mahdi in front of the Food Bank with his monthly food gifts

#Enough! Fatima Needs Food and Proper Medical Care, Not War!

Watch the video #Enough! Afghan Street Kid Fatima needs our care, not our wars! and read #Enough! Fatima Needs Food and Proper Medical Care, Not War! by Kathy Kelly : One and a half years ago, Fatima, then aged 9, developed a fever which lasted for about a month. All four of her limbs became paralyzed. In a hospital at Wazir Akbar Khan, doctors said she was 10 minutes away from death….”

08 Fatima with her teacher, Ali

Fatima at her rented mud house. She kept falling ill from contaminated water. Ali, her teacher at the Borderfree Street Kids School,

visited her and gave assistance to her family to finally install a pipe and tap that provides potable water

09 Ali and Zarghuna teaching the street kids nonviolence

Ali teaches Fatima and other street kids nonviolence

 10 Ali with Gul Agha and Fatima

Fatima ( right ) receives her monthly food rations. Her school mate, Gul Agha ( centre ), is next to Ali

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